If you’re looking to vacation in another country not far from Dubai this year, you’re in luck. There are a number of beautiful countries near Dubai that are rich in culture, shopping, entertainment and the sort of architectural grandeur that takes your breath away. Of course, there are the fine restaurants, the trendy department stores, excellent beaches and fun activities to be considered as well. Check out these 10 countries near Dubai for a remarkable holiday experience.
Georgia isn’t far from Dubai – in fact, it is at the perfect distance for a short getaway. Georgia is becoming a regular tourist haunt for UAE residents given the sudden influx of Georgia tour packages. Once part of the Soviet Union, Georgia is now independent nation; full of history, ancient battles, incredible architecture and beautiful ruins. Every city in this beautiful country has something to offer.
2. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, that beach paradise, is only about 3 hours from Dubai. Colombo, the capital city, is an incredible place to visit; its vibrant culture, festivals and lifestyle are beacons to tourists worldwide. Sri Lanka is a mix of colonial history, age-old Tamil, Sinhalese and Buddhist traditions and abundant attractions, water sports and a cuisine to die for. Sri Lanka is among the most tourist-friendly countries near Dubai to visit.
The whole of Egypt is a traveler’s delight, but Cairo in particular is a repository of ancient history, fantastic museums and mind-blowing architecture. Do visit some of the world-famous archaeological spots, like Tutankhamen’s old tomb. You’ll love the city’s prehistoric buildings, the burial villages, the Sphinx and the iconic Pyramids. Cairo also has its share of partying, cruising and shopping to charm visitors, so be sure to enjoy them all!
Doha is the capital and also the largest city in Qatar, with more than its share of modern shopping malls, golf clubs, souks and desert adventures. If you enjoyed visiting Dubai, you’ll love Qatar – the pristine sandy beaches will call out to you as will the shopping malls and the theme parks and the mystical red dunes of the desert. Qatar is one of the nicest countries to visit near Dubai.
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A visit to Israel will truly open your eyes to Jewish culture, religion and hospitality. The capital city, Tel Aviv, is vibrantly modern and ancient at the same time, given that it’s been around since the emergence of civilization. Tel Aviv has a fun cosmopolitan outlook with excellent nightlife, fabulous beach revelry and all modern amenities. Jerusalem, on the other hand, is filled with holy sites and religious marvels that are of significance to multiple religions
Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut, totally restored after the mutilations of war, is now a leading cultural city. Beirut still vibes with the cultural spirit of the days gone by. Take in the wondrous history, unique culture and traditions of Lebanese culture. Explore Lebanon’s ancient monuments, architecture, beautiful beaches, theme parks, shopping, luxury hotels and trendy clubs.
Petra is Jordan’s capital city and is one of the cradles of the ancient world. The city is beautiful, with beautifully-preserved prehistoric sites. The entire city is carved out of red rock, which lends it a wonderful charm. Be sure to photograph some of the magnificent primeval red rock structures. Petra’s historical sites and amazing ancient architecture are registered as UNESCO heritage sites.
Turkey is famous for its incredible architecture, its covered markets and its incredible landscapes. Don’t miss checking out the Aghia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Place and other marvels worthy of dedicated awe in Istanbul. The city offers a charming mix of the East and the West that makes visitors very comfortable. Do visit the covered markets and haggle for carpets, jewelry, handicrafts, spices and a vast array of other items.
9. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is expansive and immense, full of incredible sights and many activities for the adventurous. Riyadh, being the capital, is a Richie-rich city; being the cultural and business center of SA, Riyadh boasts of incredibly beautiful homes, mosques and amazing public parks and spaces. This city is a mix of traditional Arab culture and western sentiments. For a great dose of history, gold shopping, bowling, camels, camping and desert adventures, pack your bags and head out to Riyadh.
Bahrain is a beautiful country in the Middle East; Manama is the capital, and also Bahrain’s largest city. Rich in culture, history, stunning natural features, architecture and amazing attractions, Bahrain is a traveler’s joy. Despite being a Muslim nation, Bahrain’s laws are not very stringent. This makes the country easy to tour. As Bahrain is an island nation, you’ll have plenty of beaches all around to enjoy some water sports and crazy beach fun. Be sure to visit the restored Bahrain Fort, the Abu Mahir Fort, Muharraq Fort, the Sheikh Salman bin Ahmad Al Fateh Fort and several other attractions.
Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Union member, just like Georgia. You’ll witness a wide variety of climate zones here, along with mindblowing landscapes. Visit Azerbaijan in winter to enjoy skiing on the slopes of the Caucasian mountains. Azerbaijan is flanked on the North-West by Georgia, so it’s a good idea to visit both countries at the same time.
Russia is simply magnificent; despite the efforts of the early communist leaders to destroy all religious artifacts, Russia’s old churches and museums are still intact. The incredibly splendid architecture of everything from churches, public buildings, public spaces and squares is simply mind-blowing. Be sure to enjoy the country’s colorful history, its rich culture, arts and crafts, folk music and dance and wooden toys.
India is a magical country steeped in ancient traditions. Every State has its language, incredible natural sights, fabulous architecture and heritage. Needless to say, there is much to do and see in the country, whether you’re visiting the Himalayan provinces or Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west, Bengal and Orissa in the East, Delhi in the north or the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka or the coastal paradise, Kerala.
The best part about all the countries we’ve listed is that they’re all easily accessible from Dubai. You can easily club India and Sri Lanka in the same trip, and visit Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia into another visit.